EVENT Petal Power
Kew Gardens has burst into exotic colour, as its Orchid Festival starts to bloom. The very grand Princess of Wales conservatory is a riot of vibrant petals, celebrating the best of Thai culture. Immerse yourself in the country’s plant life, admire handcrafted umbrellas, an orchid palace and learn about the significance of orchids in Thai culture. Wander through soundscapes depicting different aspects of Thai life, from tranquil temples to lively forests, then treat yourself to some authentic Thai streetfood and listen to traditional music from the region. Then, of course, there are the rest of the utterly beautiful gardens to explore!
GROW, MAKE, LEARN Spike Likes
Prickly, green, water-preserving cacti have had a recent bask in the fashion sun. Real-life cacti and succulents are very easy for kids to care for, and cactus gardens make cool little projects for children. There’s a guide to making your own here and some more inspiration here - we’re going to add cowboys and a mini ghost-town to ours to make it look like a desert. If you get really into the spiky plants, try growing yours from seed and find out more about them here.
If real cacti don’t appeal, make some! These paper craft versions are supercool, or try sewing this cute pillow. Alternatively, these wire-and-yarn versions make an eye-catching decoration. And no pricked fingers guaranteed!
COOK Colly Wobbles
Cauliflower – a much under-rated vegetable – are glorious at this time of year. However, we’ve been inspired by this extraordinarily well-curated set of recipes to revisit this cruciferous treat. Try it roasted whole with cumin, sumac and lemon, make a low-carb base for a pizza, try it crispy, Andalusian style, or teamed with wild garlic. Alternatively, try these very kid-friendly cauliflower dippers - mmmm! All these recipes are vegetarian, some are vegan.
Love the sharp taste of rhubarb? Head to Wakefield this weekend for a festival that celebrates the best of the pink wonder. Watch live cookery demonstrations, enjoy street theatre and join in workshops. There’s lots on for kids; follow the festival rhubarb trail, join in circus fun, make a rhubarb-themed badge, or even hear the sound of rhubarb growing! Bring your own custard.
EVENT and LEARN Fair’s Fair
Fair Trade Fortnight runs from February 26–March 11, and is a chance to pause and think about the way that products on our shelves are made and arrive in our shops. It’s a great opportunity to sit down with your kids and discuss how your choice of what to buy can affect the lives of farmers and workers across the world. There’s an easy to understand film about Fair Trade on the website, or read their action guide for more practical ideas of ways to spread the message. Alternatively, go here for a wealth of ideas for lesson plans.